The B.C. government has distributed $30,478 in compensation for municipal property taxes to the City of Merritt.
Altogether, the Province has distributed nearly $16 million in compensation for municipal property taxes to 56 communities around B.C.
Grants-in-lieu of property taxes are distributed every November and reimburse municipalities for services that benefited government properties, such as municipally run sewers, roads and fire protection.
Grants are issued in accordance with the Municipal Aid Act and are payable on land owned by the provincial government such as courthouses, provincial government office buildings and warehouses.
Schools and hospitals are exempt from paying municipal property taxes and are not part of the grants-in-lieu calculation. Other provincial assets such as highways, forests, parks or land under the control, management or administration of a Crown corporation are also excluded from compensation under the act.
Since 2002, the Government of British Columbia has distributed more than $254 million in grants-in-lieu to B.C. communities. A portion of the funds is paid by each community to its regional district, and both levels of local government use grants to help pay for local services.
Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola –
“This grant helps communities like Merritt provide public services and fund capital expenditures that will benefit the community as a whole. The money also comes without conditions, and that allows the city to choose from its own set of priorities.”